Learning curves

Change is constant. This is true in life in general and in the world of healthcare especially, as I’m sure you are keenly aware. This month there also happens to be some big changes here at Health Imaging.

After contributing to the magazine for over two years, I’m very excited to announce that I’ll be taking over as Editor of Health Imaging. It’s a wonderful opportunity, and I look forward to watching radiology reinvent itself in this era of reform and sharing all the major developments with our community.

There will be a learning curve for me as I settle into my new post, and in this respect my situation is similar to that of medical imaging stakeholders who are coming to terms with their new roles. Radiologists are increasingly expected to emerge from their reading rooms and communicate directly with patients and clinicians. Processes may need to be overhauled to place the patient experience as a central concern of practices. IT gurus are busy breaking down silos of information to share data across the care continuum.

Daunting though it may be, there are fortunately a number of sterling examples of best practices for providers to follow, and some of them are highlighted in Health Imaging’s inaugural Patient-Centric Imaging Awards. Our editorial team sifted through the submissions and selected five projects that illustrate some of the best patient engagement in imaging.

What kind of results were achieved? One award winner boosted patient satisfaction scores by 30 points, while another cut patient check-in time from 15 minutes to just one or two. All the winners seemed to approach their projects as a process rather than a product, and demonstrate that the first steps are the most important to take. These organizations are taking the lead, and others would do well to follow as they get started on their own patient engagement projects.

I was also lucky enough to have a leader set a fantastic example for me to follow. Health Imaging’s former Editor, Lisa Fratt, has a new challenge and opportunity ahead of her. She’ll be joining the writing team of a large hospital system, and we wish her all the best. While new leadership may bring a new vision and energy, Lisa’s influence will surely still be seen in the publication as we move forward. 

Things may constantly change, but it’s the lessons of the past that shape the direction of our future.